Ecosystem Recovery after Disturbance: Thresholds for Biodiversity and Resiliency Indicators

This project will use vegetation indicators of biodiversity to define response curves for measuring ecological resilience in three forest ecosystems in central BC. The vegetation indicators to be evaluated are: 1) the rate of regrowth; 2) the rate of recovery of species richness; and 3) the rate of recovery of original species composition. The research team hypothesizes that ecological resilience increases with site productivity and decreases with the length of intervals between wildfires. The team will use the post-burn vegetation data collected in the summer of 2007 to develop a structural equation model to help explain why differences in ecological resilience exist across the environmental gradients of these forest ecosystems. This research will support the partner’s Future Forest Ecosystems Initiative which is aimed at protecting and enhancing the resilience of BC’s forests through an adaptive management strategy.

Julia Chandler
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Suzanne Simard
British Columbia